Matti Friedman was awarded the largest Jewish literary prize, the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, for "The Aleppo Codex” (Algonquin). His book, published in 2012, traces the unusual history and complicated provenance of the precious manuscript, considered to be the authoritative text of the Bible. The codex was hand-written about a thousand years ago.
For the new month of Elul, songwriter Elie Lichtschein introduces his “mysti-folk” version of Hallel to New York. Lichtschein has composed new melodies for the psalms that are traditionally chanted on Rosh Hodesh, the beginning of the new Jewish month.
Tonight at 11:57, and every night through the end of August, those passing through Times Square will have the opportunity to see artist Jack Goldstein’s film “The Jump” on more than 15 large digital screens, usually displaying ads.
Writers, critics and publishers keep trying to refine their definition of a Jewish book, whether it’s a Jewish author, subject, or just sensibility. After meeting Molly Melching when she spoke at a breakfast sponsored by the American Jewish World Service, I’d vote to stretch the category. “However Long the Night,” which was written about Melching’s tremendous humanitarian work in helping African women, is essential reading – it’s a book about transforming the world.
Peace seemed not only possible, but was palpable this week at the Metropolitan Room as Mira Awad sang her own compositions in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Her words are earthy, her voice transcendent and the yearning for something better remains in the air.
As I write that descendants of prominent Nazis have chosen to live in Israel today, and that some of them – with surnames like Goering, Goebbels or Himmler -- are converted to Judaism or in process, I realize that readers will reread this sentence to make sure they didn’t misread.